Plague-Stricken Squirrel Prompts Closure Of Campground In Angeles National Forest

LOS ANGELES ( — A squirrel that tested positive for plague prompted the days-long closure of a campground in the Angeles National Forest.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the U.S. Forest Service decided to shut down Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow and Pima Loops of the Table Mountain Campground for at least seven days.

Health officials said squirrel burrows will be dusted for fleas.

“Plague is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, which is why we close affected campgrounds and recreational areas as a precaution while preventive measures are taken to control the flea population,” said Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, the county’s public health director. “It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residences since 1984, none of which were fatal.”

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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